ObjectiveMy approach to doing product reviews is to break them up into a few separate components that give a kind of 360 degree viewpoint. My approach is to mainly appeal to women who seem to want a lot more information in general, so I break my reviews into 4 main components… They are:
The Written OverviewBroken into categories that seem to be the most important based on what people want to know when looking at potentially buying the product being reviewed. I don’t like long written articles but short brief sentences or paragraphs that describe my thoughts and feelings about what I experienced while working with the product. This allows for a very quick, yet descriptive read.
Support Pics & GraphicsThat help add a little more visual detail to what I’ve written.
Video ContentThis way you can see how I went about reviewing the product and “mash-up’s” of all the different ways we ran the product, in addition to illustrating points that need video as an enhanced description.
Audio ReviewOn some of the reviews, we will take the written review and audio record it, and make that available in case people need the ability to listen because they’re not in a situation where viewing a video is possible. So, now having set the stage to this and all of my upcoming written reviews, here’s my thoughts on the POLY80 Compact Glock Frame:
REVIEW STAGE ONE:
The BuildWe took the POLY80 Compact Frame and built a “NAG-19” (Not A Glock) in of course, 9mm. Here’s the general parts list so you can see what we ended up wit:
POLY80 FrameWhich we finished using a neck knife (yes a neck knife, LOL), a hand drill and some sand paper. Tried to use a real minimalist approach. It came out perfectly and our entire “Build Video Series” shows the process from beginning to end. Finishing the frame was pretty simple, but it took a little nudging and fiddling in order to get the holes to line up and to get the pins in. But in the end it was pretty simple.
HYVE G19 SlideFrom Hyve Industries, and I need to mention that this slide had no finish at all. Pretty much raw stainless steel. We also did not oil or lube it. Pure metal on metal functionality.
Aftermarket Barrel416 stainless from Olympic Arms, no longer for sale. They were made originally for the “I Love My Glock” online store and the deal went south, so I picked them all up for a song. The barrel is Button Rifled. The barrel had a few issues with the 124 Aguila 9mm rounds. Experienced about 6-8 malfunctions, FTF, Stove Pipes. But after we ran the gun for a bit it all smoothed out.
KINETI-TECH Flat Trigger with trigger barI really like this trigger. Top shelf build and half the price of anyone else. All we did to the trigger is polish everything. All trigger components otherwise are stock Glock components. Here’s the link to the trigger: http://www.kineti-tech.com/glock-triggers/
SightsUsed a AmeriGlo .105 red Fiber Optic in the front and one of my husbands Variant-1 Victory Rear Sight. I love that rear sight. Best thing I’ve ever found for speed and supreme accuracy. But… I must mention that we broke 3 AmeriGlo front Fiber Optic front sights during 1,350 rounds of testing so far. Don’t give me crap about too much LocTite. We don’t add too much, and we also tested them with less LocTite, and with none at all. They all broke. They just seem to be really thin at the housing base. We now have a Dawson’s Precision on the way. Which is what we normally use anyway. We just had a few of the AmeriGlo’s laying around.
MagazinesWe used three types of mags during the 1,000 Round Range Test (we actually have run 1,350 in total so far). Those were, OEM Glock, ETS G19 and Magpul G19 mags. They all ran great. The Magpul seemed to have some issues here and there. Mostly with it not locking back about 3x out of the 10x we used the mag.
All Other ComponentsAre all stock. Outside of the trigger and trigger bar, all of the other internals are pure OEM Glock Stock. Recoil bar and spring are stock, striker pin and all springs, etc… are all stock and functioned flawlessly.
AmmunitionWe ran so far, 1,350 rounds through this POLY80 Compact build. Here’s a quick list of the type of ammo: Federal PRT 115, WWB 115, Wolf, Aguila 124, MagTech 115, Grizzly 147+P HP’s and a bunch of “Who knows what the hell is in this ammo can” 9mm.
REVIEW STAGE TWO: General Performance
Component QualityBear in mind that prior to building this POLY80 Compact Frame, my EDC and Training Gun was a Glock19 built on a Lonewolf Timberwolf Frame, and my very first carry gun was a OEM Gen4 Glock19. I never really liked the grip angle of the OEM Glock, and because of my small hands the OEM frame (even the Gen4) seemed to be a little too big for me to access the trigger the way I should. Hence I moved to the Timberwolf Frame. I really love that version of the Glock and still do. Compared to that frame and the OEM frame, the POLY80 is really well designed and built. I won’t go into mass details on the spec and materials etc… but I will say that they did so many things right with this frame. Obviously, I like the fact that the naked (no texture at all, slick) frame gives you the ability for anyone to customize the texture and even do what we call “Blue Printing” the frame (contouring the grip dimensions to personalize the fit) but because of the already added features like the trigger guard undercuts already finished, it really is a perfect balance. You don’t need to do anything if you don’t want to, and you don’t have to pay someone hundreds of dollars to customize it this way. The thumb ramp design and cut (Agency Arms Feature, let’s give credit where credit is due) is nice, but not really helpful, but does add to the coolness factor. There’s not a lot of material to cut into like their original full size frame. So we are doing some small contouring (I’ll post picture at a later date) but otherwise leaving it alone besides the stippling or some grip tape. The frame is solid, and reduces the energy of the round(s). I personally feel that it absorbs the energy better than the OEM Glock and way better than the Timberwolf frame. It is extremely comfortable to shoot. 147 +P HP’s were a joy actually. I ran 650 rounds in a 2 hr time frame and never felt beat up, not even close. Nor were my hands remotely sore after the day. That’s a lot of rounds in a short period of time.
ConfidenceSome people can switch their carry gun without a second thought and many times I read about those who put 250 rounds through a new potential carry gun and call it “good to go.” I’m not in any way criticizing anyone that feels like that. Everyone has their own concepts of what is an acceptable testing process in order to deem any new gun worthy of the title, EDC. I am not one who can so easily change. I fear change. LOL No… I’m just saying I grew in this industry being taught by some pretty high level military and LE leadership and they were never the ones to put any ol’ thing in their duty holster. They seemed to echo that sentiment of, “If it hasn’t fought in 3 wars then it’s not worth a crap!” And there’s probably a lot of truth to that. My process generally includes minimally 1,000 rounds of “Everything but the kitchen sink” ammo, several different magazines, (for Glocks because of the aftermarket components) and then how it performs during the majority of all of the training drills and scenario based drills, that I have experienced in training, and what could potentially befall me while I am out and about. I didn’t show all of those drills on the Overview Range Test Video, but showed a few of them to give people the idea that we did run a bunch of performance drills. Overall… I wasn’t confident in this pistol at the beginning, but I feel that way towards anything that is trying to beat out my current custom Glock19, which has just over 14,000 rounds through it, over the last 18 months. This is the gun that I carry, that I train with, and trust mine, and my children’s lives with. It didn’t take long to start gaining confidence in this new POLY80 Compact frame. I was more than surprised. Note… People often ask why I haven’t just switched to an Agency Arms, ZEV or Salient. Although those are great guns, and I have a serious window-shopping love affair with anything Agency… most people can’t afford that type of weapon. So it’s nice to be able to review some products that are well within anyone’s budget, like this POLY80 Compact Frame.
AccuracyWe tested this gun first at the Bench at 15, 25 and 60 meters and then on the 150 meter gong where we went 3 for 6. Now of course this test of accuracy lends more towards the trigger (person behind the trigger also) the barrel and the ammunition than it does the frame. Then we went on to running the gun based on standard defensive drills, drawing the gun from a belt holster (My husband Ed, drew out a design and then made a few holsters from Kydex just for the test), moving and shooting drills, bad guy paper targets that we make, called Poster Perps, shooting steel, behind a barricade, vehicles, mag dumps, yada yada yada. The accuracy was fantastic, but more importantly was the frames controllability, even with a slick grip on a hot Utah dessert day. The frame was controllable and easy to get the sights back on target. Basically, I had no issues “driving the gun” as my coach and Rainer Arms Team Shooter would say. I was able to put rounds on whatever target I was presented with, and do so with more speed that my prior carry gun. The frame is really easy to shoot and control. I mean really easy. This is a Glock that any, and every girl, would love.
Reliability & DurabilityI can only speak to the 1,350 rounds that I’ve put through this gun so far. I also need to mention that I did not oil or lube this gun prior to range testing it. This may or may not have had anything to do with the few malfunctions we had. I will do a follow up once I clean it all up and then properly oil the gun, polish everything wonderfully and then run it some more. This of course will give me a better idea of where the malfs came from. But I will say that after we ran it a few hundred rounds it seemed to be just fine and have not had a malfunction since. Give me a years worth of training and competition… and 10,000-20,000 rounds and I will do a follow up. Only time and a lot of rounds in various conditions will tell with this 80% build and how it holds up. I’m hopeful. I really like this frame.
ControlI’ve covered some of this already in a few of my comments above, but let me state that this frame is extremely easy to point and shoot. I’ve had a few others shoot the gun and the results have been the same. The frame is really easy to control. I have posted a picture of my husband’s father at the range and his target at 7 meters. He is not a shooter and rarely goes to the range. Maybe 2-3 times a year. One & Two Handed… Strong & Support Hand Only – the funny thing is when I was thinking about how the frame felt during all of these types of drills, one thing that kept coming up in my mind was, “I wasn’t thinking about it.” I wasn’t thinking about the recoil, I wasn’t thinking about shooting strong hand or support hand only, or left hand trigger finger. I wasn’t thinking as I was shooting and moving or during whatever drill I was working through. The frame was so controllable, that all I was focused on was “sight picture and trigger press.” Looking back I was pretty surprised at the speed and accuracy that the frame afforded me.
Still and Moving (target moving)Everything about this frame made it easy to me to solely focus on my sight picture. It didn’t matter what I was doing while shooting. It was a growing confidence. All of the benefits of the features of this frame kept building on each other and my confidence kept building with each drill.
ReloadsThe POLY80 Compact Frame doesn’t have a magwell built in like the original full size frame, but it has a slight lip at the bottom of the grip. I found reloading no better or worse than any other OEM Glock frame. I have a small magwell on my Timberwolf Glock19. I like it more for the leverage it gives me on my grip versus having it for faster reloads, (even though this is something I still need some practice on). The little design features on the frame seems to also make it easier to access the mag release button. I have a basic extended mag release on the Poly80 frame. It sticks out pretty far, so we knocked it back a little and smoothed it out with a Dremel Tool. I like it better than the Timberwolf mag release, which is wide and round and ends up getting pushed by the meat of my support hand. I’ve released a few mags on accident because of this during trainings. The POLY80 Compact Frame is so much better thought out and designed.
Recoil ManagementSoftest shooting Glock19 Variant I’ve ever shot based on stock components. Easiest Glock Variant to control. I can drive this gun regardless of how fast I am shooting. If this were a car we would describe it as “Driving On Rails.”
Conceal-abilityNo different than any other Glock19/23. We made our own kydex holsters for the test and review. Now we can take the gun over to associate RDR Holsters and have him professionally make holsters for this platform.
DrawI love the grip angle and the gun whether from the OWB belt holster or AIWB holster, the frame is easy to grab and get a good purchase and draw the gun. I will report back once we contour the frame and stipple it a bit. The frame was totally slick with no texture at all during the testing and review. I know all of this sounds over promotional, but it’s really this simple…
“This POLY80 Compact Frame has built into its design all of the contours, features and cuts that owners of Glock OEM guns pay a lot of money to aftermarket companies to modify. Why do they do that? Because those expensive modified guns feel and shoot beautifully. So it only makes sense that a frame designed and manufactured from the start with those upgraded features would shoot very similar to those expensive modified OEM version. I’m pretty sure this is what the company was going for when they designed this frame. All of that for $150 retail at the Rainier Arms Online Store. It’s really hard to believe and it’s really hard to beat.” – Debi S. Earle
REVIEW STAGE THREE: Range TestWe went out to our outdoor range, where we have full access to a 30 lane 65 meter pistol range, and a 1,000 meter rifle range, and spent half a day putting 650 rounds through the POLY80 Compact NAG19. We had already put 500 rounds through it prior. After the rage test, we ran another 200 rounds, a few days later, at an indoor range. The objective was to do some bench testing accuracy shooting and run as many drills and defensive scenario drills as we could to round out the1,000 round reliability test. Thinking maybe we should send the gun to MAC and have them run the Gaunlet. But based on the conditions that a civilian would generally find themselves in… the gun ran great. It seemed to have a break in period with the Aguila 124gr 9mm. I’m not going on record with that though. Just saying it took 100 rounds or so and then the gun smoothed out with the Aguila. Everything ran perfect, as did all three magazine choices. Here is just a few of the drills we ran during the range test. We will continue to do more and update this review as we take this gun through trainings (AZTEC Training for one) and competitions, and as we start shooting outdoors in the winter time, with snow and freezing temperatures.
- Accuracy at 15, 25 & 60 meters
- Accuracy 150 meters 24” steel gong
- Poster Perp drills 3 + 2
- Reload drills standing and moving
- ZEROin drills at 5 meters (see pictures)
- Strong hand
- Support hand
- Left hand two handed
- Shooting around obstacles
- Dragging/Carrying MMA boy – 70 lb Jiu Jitsu dummy
- Draw-ability – from OWB Belt Holster and AIWB